Prayer of an Innocent Person against Those who Seek His Soul.
To the chief musician, Al-taschith, again according to the melody “Destroy not,” Michtam, a poem in epigrammatic form, of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him, the event being recorded, 1 Sam. 19, 11-18. V. 1. Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God, tearing him out of their hands; defend me from them that rise up against me, moving him out of their reach, upon a height, to a stronghold. Note the call of trust: my God. V. 2. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity and save me from bloody men, such as come with murderous design and intent. V. 3. For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul; the mighty, those possessing power and influence in the world, are gathered against me, banded together for his destruction; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O Lord, David feels himself innocent of any guilt which might have deserved such a persecution. V. 4. They run and prepare themselves, setting themselves in readiness to capture him, without my fault; awake to help me and behold. Jehovah, who seems asleep at this time of great emergency, is urged to rouse Himself, not to abandon him, but to meet him, as with an army of relief, to convince Himself of the great danger in which David found himself. V. 5. Thou therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the Commander of all the heavenly legions, the God of Israel, of the congregation of all those who truly believe in Him, awake to visit all the heathen, the expression including all the enemies of the kingdom of God; be not merciful to any wicked transgressors, namely, as long as they continue in their murderous designs against his life. Selah. V. 6. They, the particular enemies sent to capture him, return at evening; they make a noise like a dog, howling and snarling like the roaming Oriental dogs, the scavengers of their cities, and go round about the city, preying upon the dead and even upon the helpless and feeble. V. 7. Behold, they belch out with their mouth, as the dogs do with their growling and barking; swords are in their lips, Ps. 57, 4; for who, say they, doth hear? It is an impertinent challenge, for they believe themselves safe in their wicked undertaking; they ridicule the idea that God’s punishment will strike them. V. 8. But Thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them, in mockery and derision over their folly; Thou shalt have all the heathen, the enemies of Israel, in derision, for their puny efforts in trying to thwart His plans. V. 9. Because of His strength will I wait upon Thee, rather, “My Strength, Thee will I regard,” confidently expecting his deliverance; for God is my Defense, his Stronghold in the midst of his enemies. V. 10. The God of my mercy shall prevent me, coming to meet him with the fullness of His grace; God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies, those who were lying in wait to murder him. V. 11. Slay them not, lest my people forget, the lesson of their punishment being forgotten with their total removal; scatter them, leading them astray, driving them into the wilderness, by Thy power and bring them down, humbling them before all people, O Lord, our Shield. In this way the fate of the enemies would serve as a continual example of warning. V. 12. For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, everything they say being sin, blasphemy and slander, let them even be taken in their pride; and for cursing, against God, and lying, against David, which they speak. V. 13. Consume them in wrath, after a protracted miserable existence; consume them, that they may not be, and let them know; find out conclusively, that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth, exercising dominion over His spiritual people wherever believers are found, 1 Sam. 17, 46. Selah. David, therefore, lifts up the eyes of his spirit and sees the fulfillment of his prayer. V. 14. And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog and go round about the city, v. 6, unable to satisfy their hunger, foiled in their attempts to do harm. V. 15. Let them wander up and down for meat, full of disquiet and pain on account of unsatisfied hunger, and grudge if they be not satisfied, remaining all night and watching greedily for food which is not forthcoming. V. 16. But I will sing of Thy power, contrasting his fate with that of the Lord’s enemies; yea, I will sing aloud of Thy mercy in the morning, beginning the day with praising God; for Thou hast been my Defense and Refuge in the day of my trouble. V. 17. Unto Thee, O my Strength, by whose mighty power he had been delivered, will I sing, with music on the harp; for God is my Defense, his Stronghold and Fortress, and the God of my mercy, who furnished so many evidences of His gracious feeling toward David, many more than he deserved. David’s praise is taken up by all believers, especially on account of their deliverance from the power of their great enemies, Satan, world, and flesh.